Tag Archives: retirement

The Pen Is Mighty

“The pen is mightier than the sword”. This is the phrase that have been said for “X” number of years. More years than any of us have lived or can remember. It is the truest words ever spoken. After my blog, where I wrote about “The alarm clock” and the one about ROMEO, both here at Imperial Plaza, things changed. I didn’t speak with anyone about it, nor did I see anyone about it, but things changed. The trash truck comes around a little later. The leaf blower is a little later. ROMEO is back to the way it used to be. Alas, I didn’t do anything but write because I am only a force of one and I am tired from fighting losing battles. So, in order to vent, I wrote.

Venting is a good way to relieve stress and pain in a way that does not hurt anyone. This blog, for instance, is a small way of venting. Letting off steam peacefully and calming down because of the length of time it takes to write a blog. I write this blog on retirement (I get off course at times) and I write the religious blog (I get off that track at times also). Sometimes the lines of both blogs blur into each other because my mind is muddled a lot. I have a lot going through my mind all the time. I guess that comes with old age and, the Lord knows, I feel really old at times. So I write, hoping to relieve my muddled mind, and that helps to make the pen mightier than the sword.

A person suppose to rest (relax), and slow down during their waning years. I find myself becoming busier and busier than ever but, in a way, I enjoy it but I also rest. I’m not as frantic as I used to be. This keeps me active, my mind stays alert and keeps me healthy. Everyday I see so many people, some younger than I am, that are on their last legs (as the saying goes). I see them sitting around, doing nothing but talking to each other; smoking and talking to each other or just sitting do nothing. Deteriorating. Getting sicker by the day. There are so many things to do here at Imperial Plaza that are FREE yet they participate in nothing. I am given one excuse after another for not participating and none of it seem true to me. Then I see those that are active, energetic, vibrant, full of life and are in their eighties, nineties and a couple at one hundred. Life is being active and being active is life. I shouldn’t complain, I am not complaining. I want to live a long healthy life, however, I do not need more to do.

I have my writing, crossword puzzles, Sudoku puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, bicycle, some television programs, appointments, going around with my wife (driving to the casinos, shows, appointments, etc.), family gatherings, fishing and a few things here at Imperial Plaza. I am now seriously thinking about accepting the offer to help the Tuskegee Airmen on their talk circuit (I still help the Mighty Pen Project on their talk circuit). There is so much that I do that I, at times, can’t attend something because other things all of a sudden take priority. While doing these things, my mind is always on the next blog to write, what will it be about and the construction of that blog..

That’s it for venting with nothing really to vent about. I just hope the feeble people that does nothing at all find something to become more active. This way they will live a longer, healthier life by being more productive. And, I thank God for letting me put down the sword and pickup the pen.

Comings and Goings

I want to welcome Ron back to Activities. It is so good to have him back especially to lead ROMEO on it’s monthly excursions to different restaurants. Yes, ROMEO is back to its original form (the pen is mightier than the sword) . Now Activities can get back to his norm and on it’s luxurious way. Again, welcome back Ron.

As I have said before, it is so nice to be retired and to be able to go to places without worry of having to do this or that to your house. My wife and I went to our favorite casino places, Maryland live, Horseshoe and MGM casinos. We spent three days and two nights away without a care in the world. Who says you can’t do things when you are retired? That is what retirement is for, to do what you want to do when you want to do it. The only reason that we came back so soon was because we had another engagement Saturday evening, where I ran into a guy I used to work with more than twenty years ago. Again, good food, music and lots of fun.

Last Tuesday, as it is every Tuesday, the White Squirrel have it’s live music along with good food and fun. The Thunderbirds, who plays every other Tuesday, were really great in the music playing and selection. The White Squirrel have a new menu and the food was really good. I am glad to see the upgrade in the food because, for a while, the food was going downhill. I talked with James, the assistant manager of the dining facilities, who is back and he seem to be doing well. He is still crazy and it was really great to see him running around acting crazy with everyone.

Now that warm weather will soon be here, it is time to get my bicycle, and other things, ready for good weather so that I can go outside and get some pleasant exercise done. Being cooped up all winter have really gotten me out of shape, as if I was in good shape to start with. LOL Being in the age group that I am in, doesn’t take much to get me out of shape. Keeping myself active and not sitting around doing nothing should keep me healthy and vibrant ( I hope). Of course going to the casinos, like we do, and all the other things, doesn’t leave much room to cram in the exercising. I really don’t like going down into the gym and going through the exercise routines that a trainer would give. Good shows on TV does not help the situation any either (smile). I will keep trudging along and doing the best I can to stay in shape so that my wife and I can continue to go to the casinos.

Really, there’s not much to put in to today’s blog. I am just looking forward to the warm weather and the upcoming activities from the Activity Department here at the Imperial Plaza. The Activity Department have the cherry blossom/boat ride coming up as well as other exciting outings. I don’t know how many I will be able to go on because I know that some will clash with my schedule. But, of course, I cannot miss ROMEO. So I say to all, get out there and be active. Maybe I’ll see you somewhere along the way.

Black History Programs

With February being Black History Month I was a little busy. Actually, the way I feel about it, there should be some way Black History is incorporated into each and every month. There is too much history, up front and much, much more hidden (think about the movie Hidden Figures), that is relevant and should be remembered. I have thought about the direction I wanted to go while writing this particular blog but there are many directions and my mind was mixing them all. I think I have a grasp of it for now.

I did not want to write anything that I have read or heard about. I want to give you personal experiences, experiences that are in line with what I am writing. My mind seem to drift off the main subject and I could write much more than I post. I’ll try to make it short and to the point although it is difficult when writing history or about historical figures. For instance, when I wrote about The Last Graduating Tuskegee Airman, I only wrote about the time before he went into the military up to his graduating as a Tuskegee Airman. If I had written his entire story (I have him telling it to me on an over an hour long digital audio recording).

I was a part of one program where I was portrayed as Sen. Obama and then as President Obama. I read his speech when he was running for president and his farewell speech (I used my radio voice from my radio days). That was a nice program and I was told I did well. The audience was very small and I only counted three Black people in the place. Imperial Plaza have enough Black residents to fill the auditorium yet they come to very few programs and this was about them and for them. Yet, they complain there aren’t any programs for them, etc.

The second program was at the Virginia War Memorial. I was on the stage panel for a discussion plus a question and answer period. There were six of us and among us were Tuskegee Airmen, a woman (Army Retired) whose story would make you think of one of the women in the movie Hidden Figures), Viet Nam and the Iraq era. I can’t tell you who was more interesting, the Tuskegee Airmen or her. My input into the program did not hold a candle to theirs and I could have been listening all day to their stories.

The crowd was small and , here again, there should have been many more. After the panel stories, question and answer period, we went outside for a wreath laying. Franklin Military Academy presented The Colors and I assisted in the wreath laying ceremony. We pledged allegiance to The Flag, a female Franklin Academy Cadet sang the National Anthem and a cadet blew “Taps” on his trumpet. The weather co-operated. PBS was there and it aired the next morning and the papers were there but I did not see the article. All of it was beautiful. I could do this all year, not only during February.

The thing I am sad about is for the young people. Most are not interested in history, especially Black history. They know about some of the famous Black people but they do not know about the small things that were accomplished. Most do not want to know who did what or why. They seldom understand what the conditions and hold backs were. I have even found they have a lot of misconceptions about ancient history, like the Pyramids or the oldest operating library in the world. Things like this are important to me, personally, and it helped shape my mind and all my actions through life. The few that soak up history seem to be better because of it.

All of us on that stage at the Virginia War Memorial was a tiny sample of the history that is sort by historians. It was sad only three of four kids were there to hear about the tiny portion of history from the people that produced it. Yes, I am a part of it although I rarely talk about it. It started with Civil Rights and ended at my retirement from the military.

To those before me and/or accomplished more than I have, thank you. To those that are learning about past history, keep digging. There is a treasure trove to find. And, as I have said before, you will never know who you may be talking to because most will not say unless asked. That person may have a background that would shock you. Keep digging…

A Little Of This, A Little Of That

Wow, busy is as busy does and I have been a little busy, for a retired person. First, at Imperial Plaza there was a fashion show of which my wife and another woman worked extremely hard to present it and decorate the stage (can’t forget the Activities Department). It turned out really good and I have included a smidgen of photos. Personally, I like the Elvis impersonator (LOL). He was a gas and sang two or three Elvis songs. Of course, I was roped into participating, therefore, I was made the photographer.

Myself and two others, from The Mighty Pen Project (MPP) (go to the web site or Facebook page) got together for coffee and, accidentally through conversation on various topics, an idea was formed. There was an article in the Richmond Times Dispatch, which was originally in the Washington Post, about a ninety one year old Tuskegee Airman (remember the movie Red Tails) and he live here in Virginia, about three hours away. Well, he was contacted and myself and another person will interview him next month. I will write a back story about him and I’m not quite sure what else, we’ll figure that out as we go. He seem quite nice and, so far, I’ve spoken to him twice. Keep me in your prayers that the story will be good.

Oh, how I love pro football season especially my Dallas Cowboys. The rookie quarterback, Dac, is good and he is a great improvement to the team. I said that in order to say this. You know what I am doing on Thursday night, all day Sunday and on Monday night. Are you ready for some FOOTBALL? On the other side, my Dolphins still find ways to lose even when they play a team that they should conquer. Oh well, such is life.

Imperial Plaza was going to the new Afro American Museum, but, the overwhelming response for entry have caused the museum to issue entry tickets. The next available possible bulk ticket issue for bulk tours is next spring, I am told by the Activities Department. Instead, we will go to D.C. just for lunch and I guess for the ride. I can hardly wait to go. Other things are on the schedule, especially, ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out), so I have a full plate when football is added in the mix. Then I have my writing, in which I have slacked off lately, and I have to get back into it. I have seen some notices about freelance writing jobs/contests, etc. and I am missing out on some good cash by not writing like I should.

The people that have garden plots said they wanted rain for the things they are growing. As a kid I was always told to be careful what I ask for because I just may get it. Well, the rain has come and now the cry is that it is too much. All that was needed was patience enough to wait for the state fair to arrive. Why? It always rain during the state fair, without fail.

Well, after I edit this before uploading, I must start in earnest the writing I have been putting off for so long. In fact, I have more than one piece I am presently writing on. So, next week I am hoping to post my other blog, faithingodministries.net, before I go to a military retirement ceremony in Hampton next weekend. If not I’ll post it the following weekend and this post following that. Sorry about the delay but, as I’ve said many times before, I am retired and I don’t have a schedule anymore. See ya later! Gotta get a move on!

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Taking Advantage of Retirement

I will write, again, about being retired and all the fun that is out there to be taken advantage. But, there are others, in my retirement community, that want to just sit and complain about this and that and rarely, if not ever, take advantage of the magnitude of opportunities. I promised to give a little more of my travels and/or taking advantage of the opportunities, not only here at Imperial Plaza but outside the gates of the community. But, first I must say, there are numerous things to do and most are free and what is not free is very cheap.

Everyone here know my wife and I love the casinos and the last one was a stay at the Sands Hotel and Casino/Mall in Bethlehem, Pa. (Sunshine Bus Tours). To say the casino was huge is not a dream but the truth. Of all the casinos we have visited, that was the largest. The hotel room was very large and cleaned daily whether we wanted cleaning or not. There was a cards tournament going on and the number of people playing (must have been in the hundreds) would not fit in Imperial Plaza’s auditorium. It was a nice trip…

The Activities Department, here at Imperial Plaza, have been doing a great job. Among the many trips (I’ll name two) was the fishing trip at the mouth of the Chesterpeak Bay and the Atlantic Ocean and the latest trip was on (The Alliance) a schooner on the York River. We sailed out of Yorktown and, after sailing in the triple mast (sails) schooner, had lunch at Outback in Williamsburg, Va. This Wednesday is to the Maryland Live Casino/Mall, can’t miss that, and, two months from now, a trip to the casino in West Virginia (Charlestown).

I just found out that a Richmond Mayoral Debate will be held here and I am wondering how many residents will attend. People here have so much apathy toward so much yet they can sit around in the lobby area and gripe about everything. I didn’t care about Richmond politics until I started living here. Now that Richmond is my city of residence and where I vote (we have a voting precinct in house), I am very interested and there is a need to know before I vote. Since there is a voting precinct here, I wonder how many residents vote, especially the Black vote. I have found the Black people here show more indifference than most and participation is seldom, with the exception of very few.

A few days ago I was talking with a couple of people about cities and, out of the blue, I was asked “what makes a city a city?” and I had to stop and think a second. It came to me about a conversation I had with a ranking postal official in North Dakota. I had wondered what made such small towns in North Dakota designated as cities. Some of the cities in North Dakota are smaller than our large trailer parks here in Richmond. This man told me that all the place needed was an operating post office and it could then become a city on it’s own. Well, Imperial Plaza don’t have a post office per se, but it does have package pickup, stamps, mail delivery and mail pickup. To top that off, Imperial Plaza have a bank, store, restaurant, doctor’s office, pharmacy, etc. All the places some cities in the USA don’t have and that includes having police, buses, barber shop, beauty parlor, etc. The resident don’t have to leave the premises for anything that is needed. We are a city within a city but without our own zip code. Now I don’t want to hear anyone saying I didn’t name this or that because I purposely didn’t mention everything. There is so much here to mention that I don’t want to attempt naming everything because I know I will miss something.

So, until the next time, I want everyone to be careful out there because any bad thing can happen at any time. Just be vigilant and careful but don’t go off the deep end and take matters into your own hands. Let the proper people do that and respect them for doing a great job in spite of the miniscule few that put a taint on their name. Peace Out

facebook-20160918-101543(I’m hoisting the foresail by myself but the teenager, in the blue cap, was suppose to help me)

It’s Been Tough

It’s been tough to see police killed in the line of duty. I have been a career cop, military, civilian and security. I am now retired but my feelings are not insulated from what is happening in the world today. It’s been tough to see the video footage of the police killing people although I do not have the capability of analyzing the full video to see if there was any justification. It’s been tough to see the riots, civil disobedience, of people. It’s been tough listening to the comments of people that think they know but, really, don’t. It’s tough to see what happened in France. It’s tough to see the governmental conflict in Turkey. It’s been tough hearing both sides of the political “know it all” spew rhetoric yet only giving part of the truth or underlying causes of all the violence. It’ been tough.

A member of my family have joined the police force and I fear for him each and every day. It will be tough for him, whether he realize this or not. I say this because he is in a small mid-western town and I know he think he is insulated from all of this. I pray he is right. Then, there is a level of prejudice on most police forces. I have not only seen it but I have experienced it first hand. It’s not a good feeling. And, there is the fact that many people fear the person in uniform, who have a badge and gun, wanting to do harm, if not out right kill. Yet, when there is trouble, danger, or just needing police presence to abate a situation, the person with a badge and gun is summoned.

This is a tough world to live in, especially during these dark days. And, what is happening is very political. Congress, not being the force it should be, decided to be a do nothing Congress because one party, being the majority, wanted to stifle the other party. There is a Congressman, who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, that say Congress does not confirm judges although the U.S. Constitution pacifically say only Congress have those powers. In the process many things did not get done and too much attention was placed too long on getting simple things done. This lead to many, many things getting out of whack when it should have not happened. I am combining the blogs Retirement and Religion together and will post the same article on both blogs which will mean duplicate postings on my other pages. I’m doing this because we, as people of the world, are in trouble. Not only through our American laws but as a religious people are we in trouble. Let me make a posting to prove this about the coming of the end because of what is going on now.

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9 But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, 11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. 12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. 14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (KJV II Timothy 3:1-17)

 

Looking at today’s situation, the quagmire that we are in, all of us are in trouble. The world is in trouble. Wars and rumors of wars. Still don’t understand? Police violence, citizen violence, terrorist, out right war, gay right marches, gay rights in courts and schools, all sorts of other things all around put together is II Timothy Chapter 3. Robbing, shooting, using drugs, raping, killing, simple Godlessness is all in play right now.

Not all people are bad, just a few. Not all nations are bad, just a few. Not all things are bad, just a few. We can take our heads out of the sand and do something to correct this before it is too late. As nations stand together, not being separate or isolated from the others, we can combat this and become whole again. If we fight each other, we can not overcome the ultimate enemy. If we don’t get our lives right, we can not overcome that ultimate enemy.th3

I Am Retired

To be retired is greater than expected. To be able to do whatever, whenever and never have to worry about rising in the morning and going to a job. It is so nice to just lay in bed and think/relax. That is when I do my best thinking. I think about what time of morning (afternoon?) it is, what to fix for breakfast, what to wear today and dose off again, for however long it may be. Time belongs to me and not the job. Time is all there is now and I have worked a long time for this. I have been approached and chastised for not writing an article for the last two weeks. All I can say is I am retired. The article is not a job, it is pleasure, however, I ask “am required to submit an article each and every week?” I am retired and, this year, there is a lot of traveling that have been done and more to come.

While away, I do not carry my laptop, I-Pad and barely want to use my phone. There is a cruise coming up real soon and there will be very little communication for ten days plus, a wedding halfway across the country and much more. I am retired and deserve to go everywhere I can and enjoy myself without obligations to anyone (except my wife, of course) or anything. My wife and I just came from a week in Puerto Rico and I sent out, maybe, four pictures over Facebook. I really didn’t want to do that but to just stay in touch with anyone that was worried about why there wasn’t any communication. Again, we are retired. That is what retirement is all about, is it not?

Then there are people that wonder why I have a part-time job. First, the job is not hard work. Second, it is only four days a month. Third, it provides me with a tad bit of cash for my casino trips. Fourth, over the years, I have watched many people do one or two things and die. They continued to work and never had any real pleasure before or during retirement. They never retired or could not afford to retire. And those that did retire but just sat around and did nothing, passed away early and/or needed assistance to survive, never having enjoyed their retirement.

I said all of that to say this, or at least hopefully having this fact understood. The blog was to be about retirement, it is not a job to be done. The blog is to be done between my exploits, not a thing that causes everything to be stopped in order to write and print this. The blog is a pleasure writing, not a chore that is kept to a hardwired structure. And, lastly, it clears my mind for the true writing that I am into, novels and printed articles.

Hopefully I did not ruffle anyone’s feathers by writing this but truth is truth. I am on my own schedule, no one else. My wife and I do many things together and then we have our own things that are done separately. That is retirement. To do things that you want to do, at your leisure and not a calendar or clock in sight is retirement at it’s best. Most days I have to look at the paper or something else to realize what day it is and then check my pocket calendar (I have a phone appointment calendar also) to find out what I have to do today and what is coming up tomorrow. To me, today is tomorrow because tomorrow is not promised and, therefore, do whatever today because you may not be here tomorrow.

So, I’ll try to get out a blog on retirement every other week and one on religion in between that but it is not a promise or guarantee from me. If I recall correctly, when I first started this, I said I would try (I repeat “try”) to do this every week. Try is the optimum word. If there are other things you would like for me to write about, contact me and let me know. There is a comment box, use it. Until the next time…”Be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, ensure your words are soft and sweet because you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them.”IMG_0234

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